Dr. Olenda Johnson, Professor of Strategic Leadership and Leader Development, U.S. Naval War College (USNWC)

Dr. Olenda E. Johnson is Professor of Strategic Leadership and Leader Development at the U.S. Naval War College (USNWC), in the College of Operational and Strategic Leadership. Prior to her USNWC appointment, Dr. Johnson was a tenured professor at North Carolina A&T State University in the School of Business & Economics. She held previous appointments at the U.S. Army War College and the U.S. Air Force Academy, where she served as the Visiting Professor of Organizational Behavior and the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Management, respectively. Dr. Johnson received both a B. S. and MBA from Florida A&M University’s School of Business & Industry. She earned her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh.

At the Naval War College, Dr. Johnson works to advance leader and ethics development for the U.S. Navy. As a lead contributor, she advises and supports senior military leadership, develops strategy, co-authors white papers, contributes to general officer steering committees, coordinates task execution, and leads team efforts on multiple fronts. Dr. Johnson is also a passionate teacher. She teaches a well-received Critical Thinking course – which aims to enhance leader effectiveness and decision-making in complex and uncertain security environments – to mid-grade and senior military officers and their civilian counterparts. Additionally, Dr. Johnson works with components of other military branches (e.g., U.S. Army Special Forces Command) to support their leader development efforts.

Her published research covers a range of topics to include organizational identity, leadership effectiveness, and work group diversity. Her research (with Dr. Marcus Stewart) on leadership, diversity, and work teams was recently selected for Group and Organization Management Editor’s Choice article collections as one of the journal’s most noteworthy manuscripts. Dr. Johnson has presented her scholarship at conferences such as the Academy of Management, Eastern Academy of Management (Global), International Leadership Association, and Southern Management Association.

Dr. Johnson’s awards include the prestigious Army Commander’s Medal for Public Service and the University of North Carolina (UNC) Board of Governors’ Excellence in Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor bestowed upon faculty in the UNC system. Dr. Johnson has been an invited and keynote speaker at numerous military, corporate, and professional conferences to include the U.S. Air Force Academy National Character and Leadership Symposium, Kingston Conference on International Security, DiversityInc CEO Forum, National League for Nursing Education Summit and Leadership Retreat, and the Independence Blue Cross Foundation Paradigms in Leadership Conference, among others.

Mostly, Dr. Johnson finds the greatest joy in serving others – whether professionally, within her faith community, or among family and friends.